A Republican America

If one reads political news, a Republican America has the following attributes:

a) Only people with the ability to make money or who have inherited money have value in society.

b) People with no money must live as honorable poor and be supported by family and friends or by charitable organizations. They should know their place in society and except same.

c) The vast majority of people should earn their income working for other people (the better-offs) or live a self-sufficient life.

d) The government exists to protect businesses and to support the making of money.

e) The larger the business, the more influence it should have in governmental affairs. Greater economic success equals greater access to national policy.

f) Taxes are the taking of wealth from those who have it. If taxes are taken for reasons other than protecting businesses, protecting private property, and defending the country, those taxes are unnecessary. Sometimes it is okay to tax the poor to pay for poor-people programs.

g) Live by the words “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good;but Me you do not have always.” This means that charity and the provisioning of food , shelter, and clothing for the poor are personal matters and not governmental affairs. People should pay more attention to Jesus and his teachings than to the care of other people.

h) People should pay for food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare in accordance with their ability to make money. If they are unable to make money, that is not a government concern.

i) It is not the government’s concern to create a just society or a healthy society or a safe society , government should concern itself solely with punishment of those who violate the Ten Commandments that support businesses and economic activity.

j) Those who can care for themselves should be accorded more rights and freedoms than those who cannot. Like voting, police protection, and courtroom justice.

Trump Acquitted Again

Everyone predicted that former President Trump would be acquitted for the second time and he was. On a vote of 57 for impeachment and 43 against impeachment, the 2/3 majority was unmet so the President was acquitted.

The case from the House was excellent and demonstrated the truth of things: Donald Trump ginned up his base before the election and after the election. It was shown that former President Trump invited the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, QAnon, and a huge portion of simple MAGA supporters to “Stop The Steal” on January 6th. They also showed that former President Trump gave the cue for the disruption of the Electoral College ballot count and that the MAGA supporters created the chaos at the Capitol while the fringe extremists invaded the Capitol in search of Democrats, RINOs, and the VP of the United States of America to harm them. And that the President took no measures for two hours to halt the violence. He was too enthralled at what he had wrought.

Mitch McConnell , current Minority Leader of the Senate, agreed that the House managers proved the facts of their case.

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that there was no question that former President Donald Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for provoking the January 6 US Capitol insurrection despite the Senate voting to acquit Trump for inciting the riot.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mcconnell-no-question-trump-is-responsible-for-provoking-riot/vi-BB1dEyet

However, as in all political battles, it’s all about giving people an excuse not to do the right thing. In this case, many of the Republicans believed that one cannot hold a trial for an impeached President who is no longer in office. This is, of course, an excuse not to do the right thing. Many Republicans used that excuse to vote against impeachment. We don’t know how many. We don’t even know if that is the excuse McConnell told himself.

And yet, the queue is now set for former President Trump to go to the Supreme Court and argue that articles of impeachment should be stricken from his record. He will say that he was found not guilty and there should not have been a trial at all.

No matter how you slice and dice this though, the video and audio evidence of President Trump’s malfeasance is on record for the world to see.

So too, is the evidence that the Republican leadership will go to extraordinary lengths to support Donald Trump. As I’ve said before, the Republican Party is no longer the Conservative Party of Gerald Ford or of George Bush I and II.

It is now a red meat party that attacks and lies and distorts the truth. Welcome to the Republican Party- New and Improved.

Participatory Democracy

Well, you are about to see the conclusion of six weeks of effort to impeach a President.

What did you do to participate in YOUR democracy? If you did nothing, then it’s not your democracy, is it?

If you read the memes and watched the news, you did the same thing that every person in the world did. You became an informed and silent citizen whose opinion was never counted…whose voice was never heard.

This is a participatory democracy. You get what you put into it. If you put nothing in, then you get whatever comes out from other people’s participation.

Perhaps you will remember four years from now that the Democrats exaggerate everything and the Republicans do nothing. Doesn’t matter whether its a pandemic or a budget or voter ID or whatever. If you don’t participate, you get the dregs of every democracy in the world: the worst candidates, the worst policies for people, the worst outcomes, and the worst legislatures, judges, and executives.

Every policy and every law and every outcome is because someone with a voice speaks for it or against it. When your voice is not heard, nobody cares about you. Why should they if you don’t speak up in a participatory democracy?

You can write your Congressman, you can send letters to the editor. You can inform others. You can comment on this blog. You can go to Washington. You can march in the street. Heck, you can even storm the Capitol.

I hope you choose to participate in the future. If you want a world for your children, and your grandchildren, that keeps them safe and allows them to succeed, you need to do something about it.

Participate. With Respect. With Honor. With American principles in mind.

Lend your voice. Be gracious when you lose. Be grateful when you win. This is the best American most of us can ever be.

oooh, my personal conspiracy theory!

After reading hundreds of conspiracy theories over the years, I finally have one of my own! Yaaaaay!

So let me begin by saying this is totally made-up except for the missing Washington Times article. That part is true, or was true when I wrote my post.

Are you ready? Ok, here goes:

I wrote before about the three-hour December 28th (?) meeting in the White House with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and unnamed Republicans in which plans were made for the coming vote and rally on January 6th. I told you that the article that appeared in the Washington Weekly edition, mysteriously, cannot be found in the e-versions available on line.

https://reasonablecitizen.wordpress.com/2021/02/03/wh-plan-to-overthrow-election-foiled-by-trump-supporters/

So now this mysterious disappearance from The Washington Times has got me thinking there was more to the covert plan.

Here’s my conspiracy theory for your amusement or amazement, which ever, what ever.

The President summoned some key Republican zealots into the WH to ostensibly talk about challenging the Electoral College count by VP Pence. Once they started talking, it was clear the President wanted to talk about the rally being held on January 5th for MAGA supporters. He asked who the speakers were and made some suggestions about using Rudy Giuliani and Alex Jones to fire up the crowd.

Then the conversation turned to speculation and it isn’t clear who made the suggestion but it became a kind of joke if the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and/or the Boogaloo Bois might capture a Democrat or two and shame them on national TV. The President liked the idea and his minions began to spread the story among the followers that the President supported the idea of putting Pelosi or Schumer in handcuffs and show his base what should happen to all Democrats.

And it became obvious that if the Capitol Police were thinned out and there was a sufficient amount of delay, that a small cadre of Trumpian patriots might be able to make this happen.

And so the plan was hatched to motivate MAGA followers to storm the Capitol so a handful of patriots could hide among the crowd and then shame a few Democrats or a couple of RINOs on national TV.

That’s my personal conspiracy theory. Don’t steal it. There is nothing factual about it except for the missing Washington Times e-article written by Dave Boyer.

I have often said that you can’t make this stuff up… now I’ve learned that you actually can make this stuff up.

(sarcasm alert) But those darn Democrats have exploded the whole thing into some nefarious insurrection and then people were actually killed and, well, what was once a lark has now become something darker and more sinister.

I’m thinking I should turn this into one of those alternate Universe/portal stories where an alernate history happened. Might be good for a TV movie …or maybe a series!

Sigh…well..,making things up is fun but reality is better. I’m going back to watching the trial now. Oh, my! Who’s the idiot lawyer talking about Due Process when the impeachment hearing isn’t a criminal trial? What a maroon! Doesn’t he know that when Sen. Mitch McConnell says there will be no witness testimony that Due Process is broken into a thousand pieces?

You can’t make this stuff up! Lawyers are such idiots.

“It’s all about the Base…”

Here are my early take-a-ways on impeachment proceedings:

I watched a little of the trial at lunch and the Republicans are following the same strategies they always do:

1) Can we show that Democrats are hypocrites? Say one thing and do another? If so, then people in glass houses should not throw stones and no one should listen to the Democrats.

2) Can we show that Democrats do the same as us? Then our Republican Strategy is “What about-ism?”  “Why didn’t Democrats do this to their people? If they didn’t, then this is just political theater.”

3) “We will just deny, deny, deny that Republicans did this and that Democrats cheated and made this up.”

Those are the three approaches the Republicans use and they are very good at it.  It gins up their base and undermines any argument that Democrats believe in equality for Republicans.

The Democrats’ strategy is:

1) The Appalled Offense: make it sound worse than it really was and express a sense of how appalled everyone is.

2) Craft a long litany of Republican behaviors to show this has been going on a long time and nobody held Republicans accountable until now.

3) Craft a story of approaching doom if nothing is done to curb the Republican problem in front of everyone’s nose.

The Dems are just as good by getting their base to shake their heads and cluck their tongue about Republican behavior that will never, ever be held accountable.

Did you see anything that I missed?

ROFL: 1st Amendment Rights?

In a brief filed on the eve of the impeachment tria l, lawyers for the former president leveled a wide-ranging attack on the case, foreshadowing the claims they intend to present when arguments begin Tuesday on the same Senate floor that was invaded by rioters on Jan. 6.

They suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he disputed the election results and argue that he explicitly encouraged his supporters to have a peaceful protest and therefore cannot be responsible for the actions of the rioters. They say the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office, an argument contested by even some conservative legal scholars, and they deny that the goal of the case is justice.

So let me get this straight, the President wasn’t undermining the Federal government process when he said Mike Pence should throw out the certified elections of 50 states? He was exercising his 1st Amendment right?

When the President called the Georgia Governor and wanted him to “find” 47,000 votes, the President was exercising his 1st Amendment rights? When the President conspired in a three-hour meeting in late December to weaken the police presence, whip his followers into a frenzy, and launch them towards the Capitol to disrupt the Electoral College on January 6th, the President was exercising his 1st Amendment rights?

Give me a break.

Who thinks this stuff up? Do they think everyone is an idiot?

Hunter Biden and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

If you are a Republican, you are absolutely appalled that Hunter Biden got paid $5m by a foreign government but you are very comfortable with a blonde white woman who adores Donald Trump, wants to shoot Nancy Pelosi in the head, has made racist, anti-semitic remarks, thinks school shootings were false flag operations, and well, everything else this man says below.

And keeping this woman in Congress is important to the Republican Party. Sheesh.

Tell me again about the moral values of Trump-ian Republicans. I know most Conservatives do not like this woman but they accept the tolerance that Republican leadership extends to her intolerance.

https://fb.watch/3rJQSU9JC4/

Mitch McConnell has expressed his opinion of her looney theories.

The Democrat leadership is trying to keep her out of all committee meetings and they might have a point. Of course, it is best if she resigns but the Republican House leadership wants her to stay.

This is the Party of Trump and there is nothing Conservative about it.

Who was Sen. Graham talking to?

“If you open that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people pre-planned this attack and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol.”

Those are the words of Senator Lindsey Graham regarding the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

How exactly is this a threat to Democrats? Is there something we are not aware of?

In my view, inviting the FBI to talk about the three-hour planning meeting held at the White House with Rep.elect Marjorie Greene and “several Republicans” on overturning the Electoral College vote would be an illuminating conversation. (see previous post)

We know the Commission that oversees the Capitol Police forbid the use of guns and cut the number of police on duty to an ordinary day’s component. Even though there were tens of thousands of MAGA supporters who had been whipped up to a high froth by the likes of Alex Jones and Rudy Giuliani, among others, the police staffing was not increased. You can watch the videos of both of them on the internet.

Was Senator Lindsey Graham perhaps also sending a warning to the President’s defense counsel? If they bring in one witness, Senator Graham will go all in and let the President’s conspiracy committee be exposed for what it really was?

And me? I’m thinking the FBI is doing its job and that President Biden trusts Christopher Wray (Director of the FBI) and that is why he kept him on. He counts on Wray to conduct an impartial inquiry into the actions and the actors who planned this event and whether they took any orders from the WH cabal that held a 3-hour planning meeting 9 days prior to January 6th.

The question remains, Who was Sen. Lindsey Graham actually talking to?

And is there a connection between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s trip to former President Donald Trump, and this WH planning session, and the impeachment process, and then all of Donald Trump’s legal team quitting? So many questions and so few facts, and so little information.

I know everyone wants this to go away. But I have to say, I’m expecting a series of indictments for those anonymous Republicans engaged in a 3-hour planning meeting at the White House.

Perhaps the WH visitor logs will tell the story…if Biden and the Executive Branch lawyers will turn them over to the WH Press Corps. They were requested today.

WH Plan to overthrow election: foiled by Trump supporters

The Washington Times reports its news from a Republican perspective. It chooses its words to highlight the values of Conservatives and diminsh the values of Liberals. While it doesn’t scream like Breitbart, it is a source of Conservative and Republican news and views even if its thumb is on the scale.

Missing from the Washington Times online archives is an article written by Dave Boyer. It was printed in the December 28, 2020 National Weekly edition that is mailed to subscribers. I don’t know why it’s missing but my searches have failed to turn up a Washington Times e-version. I was able to find an e-version over at Pressreader.com

https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-washington-times-weekly/20201228/281526523665558

The article reports on a WH planning session with the President, Vice President, then Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, and “several other Republicans”. I don’t know why they aren’t named but perhaps anonymity is best when planning to overthrow the US presidential election.

Quoting Rep-elect Greene exclusively in the article, there is evidence that the White House was planning to overthrow (sorry, maybe I should be PC and use the word “challenge”) the election results.

Collusion and Intent. That is exactly what it was to undermine the authenticity of electoral college votes… only in states that, per Rep-elect Greene, “When you look at what’s happened in a lot of these liberal swing states, that have liberal governors, and liberal secretaries of state, you can see that they have broken the law and gone against the our Consitution with this election.”

There isn’t a shred of truth to these wild allegations and yet she uttered them. Do you need a run down? A) There are no liberal and conservative swing states. If she knew what a swing state was then she would never have said that. B) In the swing states, three of them have Republican governors and three have Democrat governors. C) The Secretaries of State are the same party as the Governor. D) There is no evidence that any elected official of any state interfered with the vote counting or vote result reporting.

The WH Plan was to contest the vote in several states and simply not count those Biden-electoral college ballots until Joe Biden was under the 270 votes needed to reject his win in the national election.

In addition, the Republican Party brought a Republican slate of electors to Washington for them to vote (instead of the Democrat slate of electors) to increase the Electoral College count, if needed. This was obviously discussed as a strategy but discarded as too farfetched.

However, what may have been discussed is what happens if both candidates do not receive the 270 EC votes to win. In which case Congress votes; the House votes for President and the Senate votes for Vice President. In an interesting twist, each state gets one vote in each chamber. It isn’t one vote per Representative or one vote per Senator. It’s one vote per state. And there are more Republican states than Democrat states in Congress. The election could easily turn into a referendum for Republicans.

But it didn’t. Why?

Because the invasion of Trump supporters caused the Electoral College to be halted and, when it resumed, Congress decided NOT to contest the certified election results.

If the Capitol had not been breached, there is an excellent chance that Donald Trump would still be president today.

Breathless and incredulous down home indignation…

I don’t know if there is hope for the Republican Party anymore. I’d like to see the old Republican Party back but these Trumpians are getting all the attention in the *cough* Conservative news media. I prefer the traditional Republicans.

The Trumpians can tell more lies and half-truths in a shorter time than anyone can rebut. And they tell these lies with such breathless incredulity that you think there might actually be something offensive about the topic.

Here’s a good example of Trumpian propaganda expressed with disdain and incredulity:

So let me unpack some of the lies and untruths expressed by Senator Backburn. Caution: It will take you longer to read what I wrote than to watch the video.

Of the 42 Executive Orders (which is a lot!) signed by Biden, 13 of those reversed Executive Orders issued by former President Trump. You can see the list here if you like: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/politics/biden-executive-orders/index.html

By category, there were 14 Executive Orders about the COVID virus and only one of them reversed a Trump Exec Order. (You know the one. The one in which President Trump quit the WHO organization.) The other 13 were actions related to developing and managing a cogent COVID plan for the country. If former President Trump has done this those 14 orders, Biden COVID actions would not have been necessary. And an additional two Exec orders were about opening healthcare enrollment for another month for people who might need it.

Five Exec Orders were about the COVID Economy and Stimulus and Housing actions.

Five were about the Environment to put America back on a scientific footing again.

Categorized as Equity, there were six Exec Orders to ensure equitable treatment by the US government for ethnicity and gender. None of them were about blacks in America. Not preferential treatment for anyone but equitable treatment towards everyone. Republicans only recognize male and female sexual organs as gender and they do not recognize the role of the brain in determining gender identity. But then, they don’t feel good about science when it conflicts with their established beliefs. This is why they are Conservatives by nature. It’s in their DNA to be Conservative (though they don’t know it) plus they think liberals are perverted when in reality liberals just have liberal genes. This is why they are liberals. It’s in their DNA.

Five Exec Orders were about immigration and three of them reversed former President Trumps Executive Orders.

One Exec Order dealt with the Census. Trump didn’t want to count illegals in the census. When you know that federal dollars and support are allocated for human needs like food, shelter, and clothing, you can see that by NOT counting illegal aliens, federal support would not have supported the demand for human services. If you don’t care about human beings who are not Americans, then you are just fine with human misery other than your own.

And one Exec Order dealt with recognizing the independence of the Department of Justice.

Knowing this, is 42 an excessive amount? Yes. Was it justified? I think so. The ship of state was headed for a reef and only a sharp LEFT rudder could avoid the damage that Trump was doing.

So let’s see what Senator Washburn alleges:

  1. “Giving favors to China by restricting our freedoms”- What freedoms were restricted by these Exec Orders? None. No evidence that OUR freedoms (yours and mine) have been restricted and NONE of these dealt with China at all. Even the pipeline project is about delivering CANADIAN OIL to US refineries. Has nothing to do with China at all. I am also sure that CHINA does not benefit from America’s freedom from COVID or the Stimulus plan for American businesses and citizens.
  2. “Joe the job killer”- As I said on my FB page, NONE of the existing permits have been cancelled. Future jobs in building the pipeline are at risk by President’s actions. The pipeline is already built from the American border to Steele City, Nebraska where the oil will be transferred to more existing oil pipelines. What you need to know is that there is already a Keystone Pipeline in place that avoids the Ogallala aquifer. (https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/app/uploads/sites/12/2016/07/Figure-3-1_es-2012-03238z_0002.jpg) The XL Keystone pipeline is Phase 4 creates a short cut to go over/through the aquifer. The first three phases ALREADY deliver Canadian oil to US refineries all the way down to Texas. Yes, there are environmental concerns about fouling the Ogallala aquifer. Of course,this isn’t the first oil pipeline in the US. You are welcome to read the list of gas and of oil pipeline accidents and analyze it for risks to the environment. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pipeline_accidents) Until I wrote this paragraph, I never knew there was an existing pipeline in place AND that this was merely a short cut to pump more oil into the US than they already do. It appears there is no need for a second pipeline. So now I am opposed to the XL pipeline that I once supported. And it appears that Senator Blackburn should be aware that the refineries in Texas have plenty of Canadian oil to crack already. So it appears to me that if MORE capacity is needed, that a second parallel pipeline to the first is the appropriate thing to do. A renewal of permits should be easier to obtain, yes?
  3. Climate change and the Paris Accords- It is likely you understand that turning raw materials into finished product pumps toxic fumes and debris into the air. Most of the legislation to date has involved adding scrubbers to smoke stacks and using cleaner fuels in the production process. The Paris accords simply has countries agree to a reduction of toxins emitted into the air. Every country can set their own targets. Every country reports their efforts. Whether you support the Paris accords depends upon how much you like fresh air and hate acid rain. It really is that simple. If you don’t care about fresh air for the planet, then you are against it. If you think no one should do anything about it, then you are against it. If you think we are stewards of the earth, you support it. If you leave no trace when you camp, then you likely support the Paris Accords. If you leave your campsite a mess for someone else to clean up, you are likely opposed to the Paris Accords.
  4. “Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr”- This is complicated but who among you has ever turned down a wage increase? Not me. And yet, a direct result of wage increase is a) an increase in consumer prices or b) a reduction of employees. This is a terrible thing to do and yet Democrats can’t see the nose on their face. Raising wages will reduce both the number of jobs and the workers. Giving people a bigger piece of an ever-shrinking labor pie is no help at all. You can kiss retail jobs goodbye. Automated checkout and employee-less shopping is the future. This is a terrible Democrat idea.
  5. “affected 1 million jobs”- I have no clue how she came up with that number. She pulled it from someplace. I’d like to think someone did an analysis but she doesn’t say.
  6. “Opening the borders to drug cartels, to Labor gangs, to human traffickers, to sex traffickers, …you’ve got that crude up in Canada that is headed for China and sold back to the US…” WOW! That’s some serious allegations! Does anyone believe that BB (Before Biden) the borders were closed and drug cartels, etc, were stymied in how to get drugs into the US? I am not sure what a Labor gang is and I think there are plenty of trffickers already in the US. BUT it appears the Exec Orders about Muslims, immigration enforcement, children, and stopping a border wall NOT approved by Congress has something to do with criminal behavior that none of us know anything about. Besides, that is a fence and it is NOT a wall.
  7. And Driver Licenses issued by states to ensure people know how to drive a car are somehow a problem. Do you get in a huff when you hear that foreign nationals can get a regular valid US License? No state requires, let me re-state this, NO COUNTRY in the world requires that holders of a driver license must be a citizen. “Under current American law, all you need in order to drive in the U.S. is a valid driving license issued by your country if you will be in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 months. A foreign license to drive in the United States will be considered valid in 49 states, except for Georgia, which requires a US driver’s license for foreigners, known as an International Driving Permit (IDP). In every other state, your foreign driver’s license, together with your biometric passport for the U.S., are sufficient documentation for you to rent a car or in case you are stopped by the police.” So that means that as long as Mexicans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans, Nicaraugans, Belizians, El Slavadorans, Hondurans, and Panamians have a valid Driver License from their country, they can drive legally in the US in 49 states. If they are staying longer than three months they must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) and keep their country driver license active. So to summarize, only illegal aliens with invalid driver licenses in their home country are impacted by this driver license issue AND only the honest working illegal immigrants are punished if they can’t get one. Every one else will simply drive without a license. This includes the drug cartels, the Labor gangs, the human and sex traffickers mentioned earlier. Just like criminals don’t get gun permits, criminals don’t get licenses either.

So now you see the problem with lies and half-truths told by right-wing spokespeople. They are megaphones of propaganda to restrict/inhibit everyone, anyone, who is not like them. They spew their viewpoints and twist things up so you are offended by their target. In this case, the target is President Biden. And you are offended not by the truth of things, but you empathize with her “feelings” about being offended. You feel compassion for the injustice that she experiences because you also have had to face injustice that you could not overcome. That is the message presented to you and that is the message you absorbed.

By the way, only 15 states issue driver licenses specifically to illegal immigrants: “Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. These states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington—issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport, or consular card and evidence of current residency in the state.”

You can read about it HERE.